Across industries, manufacturers are seeking new ways to optimize product performance while minimizing costs and maximizing production efficiency. In the automotive market, specifically, many companies are now using engineered plastic parts rather than traditional sheet metal.
Shifting from metal to plastic stamping material is not a new concept in the automotive industry, having been employed since the 1950s; yet in recent decades, automakers have been learning more about the benefits of advanced plastics and discovering new, innovative ways to implement them.
Rising Popularity of Plastic Components
From thermoformed exterior cladding to injection molded panel components, plastics are becoming increasingly popular — and with good reason. Here are some benefits to making the switch:
Lower part cost — Plastic parts are not only more cost-effective to produce than metal, but their lighter weight also makes them less expensive to ship. Secondary processes such as texturing and coloring can also be eliminated and replaced by a single injection molded part. Overall, companies switching to plastics can expect to save 25-50% on part production costs.
Increased product life — Plastic parts present a much lower risk of corrosion. Unlike metal, plastic does not rust, and most kinds have increased chemical resistance or made from high heat-resistant plastic, making them less susceptible to environmental stresses.
Lower vehicle weight — While reduced part weight saves money on production and transportation costs, it also decreases emissions and improves fuel economy, allowing automakers to more easily meet sustainability standards.
Increased strength — In addition to enhanced resistance, many plastic pieces have a higher tensile strength than their metal counterparts. By selecting engineer-grade materials and molding them into an optimized structural design, plastic parts can actually be made stronger than metal.
Production efficiency — By using versatile methods such as plastic thermoforming and injection molding, many secondary manufacturing processes can be eliminated altogether, saving manufacturers both time and money. Additionally, these processes are more sustainable, as excess plastic can be easily reground for reuse.
Switch from Metal to Plastic with New Process Fibre
New Process Fibre is a leader in versatile, nonmetal stamped components, including nylon washers ideal for use in automotive applications. As a family-owned company since 1927, we’re committed to providing our customers the best services in the industry. We offer extruding, stamping, and regrinding capabilities, and can run small prototype runs and large multimillion-piece orders alike. All of our work is done in-house.
If you’re ready to make the switch from metal to plastic in your next project, contact us today to learn more.
When choosing the right materials for plumbing applications, water resistance and durability are paramount. While metals have traditionally been used for plumbing components, there are non-metallic alternatives capable of the same level of performance as metals, but are often less expensive. Nylon 6 and PTFE are just two examples.
Nylon 6 is often used for bearings or as wear material. The material is characterized by good wear resistance, high tensile strength, and by its elasticity. The high strength and durability make it an ideal material for replacing metals.
Unlike most metals, Nylon 6 can withstand long term exposure to alkalis, dilute acids, and oxidizing agents.
On the other hand, its elasticity makes it ideal of replacing various plastics, rubbers, and wood. Nylon 6 also has high impact, heat distortion, abrasion, and vibration resistance.
Nylon 6 is a lightweight alternative to metals in plumbing applications. As moisture absorption occurs, the impact strength and energy absorption characteristics of Nylon 6 improve; however, the tensile strength and the stiffness of the material decrease, and some elongation occurs. If these side effects are properly accounted for, Nylon 6 can be used safely for plumbing applications. Furthermore, Nylon 6 can be combined with glass fibers, beads, or carbon fibers to improve its mechanical and thermal
performance. Another thing to keep in mind is that Nylon 6 is softer than one of its counterparts, Nylon 6/6, so Nylon 6 seals better for a male-to-female connection.
Some common uses of Nylon 6 would be in sprinkler heads, showerheads and faucets.
PTFE is a fluorocarbon-based polymer with very high chemical resistance, a large operating temperature range, and high resistance to weathering. Any type of filler that is added to PTFE greatly enhances its mechanical properties. The material is a good thermal and electrical insulator, with a low coefficient of friction; because of these properties, it is often used in brake systems, plumbing applications, HVAC systems, electronics, and many more.
PTFE is ideal for plumbing applications because it is completely impermeable to water or water-containing substances and oil or oil-containing substances. In fact, thread seal tape (also known as plumber’s tape), which is used to seal pipe threads, is made from PTFE. Also, due to PTFE’s ability to withstand high temperatures, utilizing PTFE washers for hot water applications would be ideal then you do not have to worry about a washer deforming or melting and causing leaks. Some common applications where PTFE can be used would be sprinkler heads and faucets.
PTFE is used in many industrial and commercial applications, including cabling, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and semiconductor manufacturing. PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) resin is a paraffin polymer with some or all of the hydrogen atoms replaced with fluorine atoms.
It is classified as a thermoplastic and has a low coefficient of friction, excellent insulating properties, and is chemically inert (to most substances) because of the strength of the carbon-fluorine bonds. PTFE has the third lowest coefficient of friction of all known solid materials – even a gecko cannot stick to it.
PTFE is well known for its versatility; it can withstand very high temperatures and has excellent anti-stick properties (which is why it is so often used to coat pots and pans). It was discovered in 1938 by Dr. Roy J. Plunkett and later commercialized in 1946 by DuPont.
Since then, it has been applied to the chemical industry for vessel linings, seals, spacers, gaskets, and washers; the electrical industry for insulators, tubing, and capacitors; and is FDA-approved for the pharmaceutical, food & beverage, and cosmetic industries. And here, at New Process Fibre, we use PTFE to create many parts, especially PTFE Washers.
Range of Applications
The sheer range of suitable applications for PTFE demonstrates the versatility of the material. PTFEfluoroplastic resins continue to be used in a number of applications, including consumer electronics, tubing for flue gas heat exchangers, food processing equipment, industrial coatings, pharmaceutical processing equipment, and are added to inks, molded gears, seals, and lubricants for added resistance to wear and temperature.
PTFE is a solid at room temperature with a density of 2200 kg/m3. Its melting point is 600 K and it maintains its high strength, toughness, and self-lubrication down to a temperature of 5 K.
As previously mentioned, PTFE is unreactive with most chemicals; only alkali metals or high-temperature aluminum, magnesium, and fluorinating agents will affect PTFE.
When most people think of Nylon, chances are that they think of the type of fabric that you might find in a t-shirt or a pair of gym shorts.
The truth is, however, that nylon is a strong and highly versatile material. It is used in the commercial, industrial, and specialty fields, including the medical industry, plumbing, fire safety sprinkler systems, and many others.
We at New Process Fibre have embraced the material. We use four different types of nylon, mixed and extruded in-house to ensure the highest quality, to produce a robust line of versatile products. New Process Fibre particularly specializes in Nylon washers.
Types of Nylon
We use custom dies—tooled in house—to stamp our products out of four primary types of Nylon. They all have unique properties and benefits.
Nylon 6 is the type found in thread and fabric, but it is also an excellent replacement for metals such as brass, steel, and aluminum. This makes it an excellent application for gears, spacers, washers, and plumbing applications. Nylon 6 has a typical tensile strength of 12,000 psi, flexural strength of 16,000 psi, and is highly resistant to heat, abrasion, water, wear, and vibration.
MDS (Molybdenum Disulfide) filled Nylon is a type of Nylon 6. Design for food grade applications, it is 3A-Dairy, FDA, and USDA compliant. Of all the grades of nylon 6, MDS filled Nylon is the hardest and strongest, which also makes it well suited to applications in wheels, gears, and bearings.
Nylon 6/6 is high viscosity Nylon. Its mechanical strength and high temperature performance are exceptional. It also has electrical and flammability properties that make it uniquely suitable for chemical and electrical applications.
Nylatron®, trademarked by Quadrant, is a blend of Nylon 6/6 and Molybdenum Disulfide. This addition increases the material’s mechanical and thermal properties. Self-lubricating and with a very low surface friction, Nylatron® is perfect for uses that preclude the application of lubricant for operational, safety, or practical reasons.
Why Choose New Process Fibre?
We at New Process Fibre are the most trusted supplier for the largest users of nylon washers for across the globe. In business for almost 90 years, we have built extensive expertise.
Nylon 6, Nylon 6/6, MDS filled Nylon, and Nylatron® are sheet extruded in-house. With full control over raw materials, we are able to provide consistently high quality materials. We maintain a library of more than 8,000 washer dies and can custom tool new dies according to your designs.
With 75 active presses, capable of reaching 400 strokes per minute, stamping Nylon washers with New Process Fibre is cost effective for small batches and high volume orders alike. We can even customize the color of your washers.
Vulcanized fibre is a natural blend of fibrous materials that are heat-treated to create a hard rubber. It is one of the first plastics ever developed and continues to be highly useful for sealing hardware such as plastic washers and gaskets. Fibres that may be incorporated into vulcanized rubber include wood pulp, paper, and fabric materials such as cotton, all of which add strength and toughness to plastic, while still permitting flexibility. In this article, we will explain the many benefits and why you should choose Vulcanized Fibre for your next project.
Vulcanized fibre gets its unique qualities from a chemical reaction between natural fibres and chemical additives such as zinc chloride. When exposed to these parchmentising chemicals, the fibres dissolve slightly, creating a slurry. The slurry is then compressed through a roll or press mechanism at high temperatures to create a bond between materials without adding chemical agents. The thickness of the resultant sheet can be modified to meet manufacturer specifications, and the sheets can be laminated to further increase the material’s thickness.
Vulcanized fibre is versatile and can be custom-shaped using a wide range of fabrication methods, including forming, sawing, cutting, shearing, punching, turning, and milling. Although it is extremely resistant to wear and impact, vulcanized fibre does not perform well in temperatures over 425°F, as the material will burn and break down.
Vulcanized fibre can be formulated in a variety of grades to meet the needs of a broad range of applications. Common grades and uses include:
Commercial-Grade Fibre:Commercial-grade vulcanized fibre is tough and resilient. It is typically available in red, white, black, or gray, and is often used to create gaskets, gears, and washers.
Electrical-Grade Fibre:Electrical-grade vulcanized fibre, also called fish paper, consists of dielectric cotton fibres that can be used as electrical insulators. It is found in a variety of electrical motors for automotive equipment, industrial equipment, and even hand tools and home appliances.
Trunk Fibre:Trunk fibre refers to a grade of vulcanized fibre that is exceptionally hard and abrasion-resistant. Protective skid panels, instrument cases, and steamer trunks are a few examples of products that are made with trunk fibre.
Bone Fibre:Bone fibre is valued for its extreme density and is the hardest vulcanized fibre available. In addition to its mechanical strength, bone fibre is resistant to oils, gasoline, and solvent chemicals. These properties make it particularly useful for tubing, noiseless gears, cut-out fuses, cutting blocks, and thrust washers.
Wood Laminating Fibre:Wood laminating fibre is tough with excellent tensile strength and torsion. It is often used to stabilize and support wood lamination and thin veneers.
Fibre Discs:Vulcanized fibre is an excellent backing material for abrasive sanding, grinding, and polishing discs.
Key Benefits of Vulcanized Fibre
Vulcanized fibre offers a broad array of benefits over other materials, including:
Eco-Friendly:Vulcanized fibre is almost entirely composed of cellulose and doesn’t include artificial binding agents. Compared to other plastics, the manufacturing process is more environmentally friendly and exposes consumers to fewer chemicals.
Highly Versatile:Vulcanized fibre can be formulated for a variety of applications, from automobile components to instrument cases, abrasive discs, and electrical insulation.
Mechanical Benefits: Vulcanized fibre exhibits a high strength-to-weight ratio and is exceptionally machinable. It typically will not break, tear, or splinter during processing.
Chemical Resistance:Vulcanized fibre can withstand exposure to a variety of chemical solvents, oils, and grease without deteriorating.
Cost-Effective:Vulcanized fibre is relatively inexpensive to manufacture and can be customized at minimal cost to enhance desired characteristics.
Vulcanized Fibre Parts and Components From New Process Fibre
At New Process Fibre, we have the in-depth knowledge and experience necessary to provide the perfect fibre components for your needs. For more than 93 years, we have provided stamped vulcanized fibre washers and other components that are critical across industries and sectors.
Whether you need durable washers for industrial applications, a protective instrument case, or durable fish paper, we can create the component you need with the utmost speed and efficiency. To learn more about vulcanized fibre and its many benefits and applications, contact our experts today.
Engineers today know full well of the growing need for specialized and custom materials for stamping. As applications have become more specialized, so too have the materials and configurations available for non-metal stamped products.
With the great array of advancements being made across industries, new applications and processes are increasing the demand for alternatives to traditional metal stamped products. Along with this demand comes the need for new materials in fabrication procedures.
Here are some common options for materials to use in the manufacture of non-metal stamped products.
Vulcanized fibre is also beneficial as a primary or secondary material. It has good strength, high durability, and flexibility. It is easily formable and machinable without splintering or cracking, while also being lightweight and having high tensile strength.
Adding to its versatility is the fact that it is high resistance to solvents and chemicals like oil and grease. The five distinct available grades are commercial, electrical, trunk fibre, bone fibre, and wood laminating, each of which are used for a range of applications across industries.
The term “thermoplastics” is used to refer to any non-metallic polymer, or a plastic that will structurally change when subjected to pressure and high temperature. Thermoplastics become less solid and more gel-like at higher temperatures.
These characteristics make it more malleable and ideal for processes like injection molding, a cost-effective and fast process for high-value thermoplastic components. Along with light machining processes, thermoplastic components can be manufactured to be almost as precise as metal components, but faster and with better consistency.
Thermoset plastics, unlike thermoplastics, have a set strength profile that does not change with temperatures. They are primarily used in high heat applications, such as electrical equipment, insulation, appliances, and printing systems. They are handled similarly to metals and metal alloys during the manufacturing process.
Learn more in New Process Fibre’s Material Selection Guide
New Process Fibre has over 85 years of experience working with alternative methods for metal stamping. That is why we are proud to present our Non-Metallic Material Selection & Properties Guide. Inside, you will find comparison tables, computability charts, and much more detail about the materials presented here. Download your free copy today, and let us know now we can help you with your non-metal stamping needs.
At New Process Fibre we have experience stamping a variety of non-metallic parts for an array of industries. We’ve touched on some of the applications for our components in our blog such as our custom gaskets for the oil industry or our self-retaining washers, however there are even more end applications out there for our products, including aerospace/military, fastener, furniture, power hand tools, consumer appliances, farm and garden equipment, plumbing, electronics, marine and automotive.
To fabricate components for these industries we work with special materials such as Acetal, Delrin®, Mylar®, Kapton®, Lexan®, PTFE, (PTFE based) Epoxy Glass, Canvas Phenolic, Nylon MDS, HDPE/LDPE, Polypropylene and others. Each of these materials can offer certain benefits depending on the end use, for example Nylon MDS is well-suited in bearing applications as it has a high wear resistance and our Vulcanized Fibre can be used for end lamination in motor applications. We can work with our customers to make sure that the proper material is selected for the end use and our in-house capabilities means we can stamp complex parts on a tight deadline.
To learn more about our products, visit our website and if you need more information you can email us our part drawings and we can provide you with a quote. And for more news about New Process Fibre and the industries we serve, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
At New Process Fibre our facility was recently visited by Sen. Chris Coons as he toured Kent and Sussex counties to speak to manufacturers about their companies, future workers, STEM education, and lean manufacturing. This visit coincides with the senator’s manufacturing bill which he hopes will bring together bipartisan support for legislation that will help manufacturers expand operation and create jobs. Additionally this bill would designate 25 universities as “Manufacturing Universities” which would receive federal money to help align their coursework to meet the needs of the manufacturing sector and help train the next generation of engineers and skilled workers.
As a business that was founded in 1927 we are always looking to improve our company. We have not only increased our product offerings but have improved our processes to ensure our customers always receive a quality product. We pride ourselves on our in-house manufacturing capabilities which allow us to perform every step of the process and fabricate our own tooling to manufacture simple and complex non-metallic components. We’ll continue to follow the senator’s bill and keep our readers informed about improving the manufacturing sector. To stay up-to-date on the manufacturing industry you can follow New Process Fibre on Twitter and LinkedIn and to learn more about our company and commitment to quality visit our website.
It seems each month this year we have heard news of the economy recovering and more and more American manufacturers are experiencing growth. Recently, the Federal Reserve reported that industrial production continued to increase in June marking one of the strongest quarters in almost four years.
These reports point out that the increase in manufacturing output points to a recovering economy but there are other reasons behind the increase in American-made products. One is the increase in wages abroad. For many years cheap labor was available in other countries like China, but now their wages are rising.
Additionally, our world now moves at a faster pace and many companies want a quick turnaround on products. Choosing an American company can help customers decrease their lead time and receive faster shipping. However, if a customer chooses a company located abroad the cost might be higher to receive the product quickly.
At New Process Fibre we are proud to be a Made in the USA company and all our products are fabricated in-house which allows us to reduce our production cycle time for quick turnaround. To learn more about non-metallic stamped components, visit our website. Our company is also active on Twitter and LinkedIn where we post more industry news.
America’s energy industry is experiencing a boom thanks in part to shale plays throughout the US. In May the US produced a record number of oil and the Energy Information Administration predicts that in just two years the US will out produce the Saudis.
With oil production in high gear, oil fields, refineries, and pipelines will all be working to keep up with production. This is where New Process Fibre comes in. Our company can produce custom gaskets for the oil industry from a variety of non-metallic materials, such as Vulcanized Fibre, Paper Phenolic, Vegetable Fibre, Silicone rubber, Kligner, PVC, Nylon, and more. Our gaskets also come in a wide range of colors and are available in English and/or metric units.
We also have experience manufacturing epoxy glass washers that can be used in the oil industry. We stamp the washers from NEMA grade laminates and are ideal for use in dry and humid conditions. We can create these epoxy glass resin based washers to adhere to a wide range of performance characteristics and we have over 8,000 washer dies in-house.
Companies that work with the oil and gas industry can learn more about our custom gaskets and epoxy glass washers by visiting our website. You can also request more information or obtain a free sample of our gaskets by visiting our request a quote page.